College Hoops: ESPN's Half-Time a Waste of Time

February 26th, 2009

At half-time of last Saturday’s primetime game, ESPN commentators provided analysis of plays that I just saw, replays of action that I just saw, and statistics of the first half that I just saw. That led me to ponder: “Didn’t I just see this?” And, “Does ESPN, the network that I love more than life itself, think I’m an idiot?” The commentators did not respond.


It then hit me that ESPN’s play-by-play guys had already provided similar detailed analysis during the game.  How much comprehension assistance do they believe I need?  What’s next, a made basket will be accompanied by a remedial math lesson – “Imagine if you have 25 apples and you add 2 more apples . . .” I have now reached the undeniable conclusion, ESPN is convinced that I’m a moron.


I guess I should be happy that ESPN is only giving me half time analysis of the games.  And not of my life.  I can easily picture Jay Bilas saying something like this:


“Dave’s first half was going well until he took out a monstrous loan for, no not a house, a law degree.  An odd decision for a guy who hates to argue. Dave then decided that the best way to pay off that loan would be to represent poor people.  Hard to make money off a clientele that can’t make rent.  He now has a blog that’s grossed a whopping $88 in three months.  At that rate he’ll easily be able to pay off his debt in 200 years.  Except, Dave has also promised to put all his profits toward the pot of his NCAA tourney pool.  Even harder to make money when you give away your earnings.  Yes, there is a possibility that Dave is getting dumber as he gets older.”


Screw you, Bilas.


Anyway, there are a plethora of things that could replace the wholly unnecessary analysis at half time of college basketball games.


1. Donkey Basketball – If you’ve never heard of donkey basketball then you didn’t grow up in a semi-podunk town like Vestal, NY as I did.  No, it’s not a bunch of donkeys playing basketball.  That would actually be less stupid.  It’s a bunch of people trying to play basketball while riding donkeys.  You got to wonder how this game was created. I think there was a kind of Reeses Peanut Butter Cup moment.  One guy’s donkey does some dodo on another guy’s basketball – “Hey you got donkey on my basketball.  You got basketball on my donkey.”


2. Show more of the cheerleaders – Cheerleaders clearly deserve more air-time than the passing glances they receive.  If you go to the Louvre, and you’re only able to see glimpses of the Mona Lisa every 20 minutes or so, that would be quite disappointing. As a married guy whose wife monitors his Internet surfing, the hope of seeing a cheerleader close up is, well, all I’ve got.  At least a few minutes of half time should be dedicated to these bouncing beauties. (My wife will attest to the fact that that’s all the time I need.)


3. Show other games - Wouldn’t you much rather watch part of another game than the forced and phony banter between Digger Phelps and Bobby Knight?  Heck, I’d almost rather let my wife turn on Desperate Housewives than watch those two geriatrics pretend to bitch at each other.  At least the women on Wysteria Lane are good looking.


4. Half Court Shots for $ - Hard to beat the excitement of pulling a fan out of the stands and letting him shoot from half court for a few grand.  For me it’s a win-win.  Fan makes it, everyone cheers.  Fan misses and I feel joy knowing that there’s one person who may now have lower self-esteem than me.


5. Show Swingers.  Each half time is about 20-30 minutes long.  If ESPN had a triple-header it could show the entirety of my favorite movie, “Swingers”, during half time.  That would be money and they know it.


Yeah, I realize that the real purpose of half time is to show more commercials.  It would be nice if they showed the good ones more often though – like the Hooters ads.  Because, really, there is no such thing as a bad Hooters ad.  I’m pretty sure they’ve been showing that one promoting their 25th anniversary for about 2 years now.  I will admit I’m engrossed every single time.  Maybe ESPN is right – I am a moron.


Take it easy,



Dave's next set of Rankings & Irrelevant Comments coming Monday.  If you’d like to add a comment about any team, just email him at by Saturday night. Check back next Thursday for his weekly Rant.